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Empowering families with self-care for children

May 2, 2005

Photo of a child at a Head Start site in San Francisco going down a slide head firstThe San Francisco Head Start program, which is run by SFSU, has won a grant to provide basic, easy-to-understand healthcare training to 75 of its families beginning this fall.

The city's program was awarded an $8,000 grant from The Anderson School at University of California, Los Angeles, and Johnson & Johnson to implement a training model developed by those two organizations. Thirty of about 300 Head Start programs from across the country that applied for the grants received them.

Head Start families who participated in a pilot study of the training, which incorporates the book "What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick" by Gloria Mayer, reported a 37 percent drop in visits to health care providers and a 48 percent drop in emergency room visits in the six months following the training.

"Families feel empowered, more in control over providing care for their children and less dependent on doctors," said Juanita Santana, director for the San Francisco Early Head Start and Head Start programs. "This grant gives us an opportunity to develop an effective training model and to develop the expertise to implement it citywide in the future."

San Francisco Early Head Start and Head Start will recruit families to participate in the program from all of their 24 sites located throughout the city, from Bayview and Chinatown to the Mission and Sunset.

For details, contact Santana at (415) 405-0512 or

San Francisco Early Head Start and Head Start are federally funded programs that serve 1,468 low-income children throughout the city. Their mission is to provide high quality comprehensive services to eligible children and families by meeting the unique needs of each child and family. SFSU has run the San Francisco programs since 1999.

-- Matt Itelson
Photo: Rosemarie Lion


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Last modified May 2, 2005 by University Communications